Well, once we're on the topic of wordless picture novels, there's no way we can avoid mentioning Shaun Tan's The Arrival, which is a simply stunning representative of the form. It takes as its subject one of the most appropriate possible topics for exploiting the universalizing capacities of the wordless form: the immigrant experience. A native of Australia who is himself the son of a Malaysian immmigrant, Tan has created a truly unique and wonderful work which is almost magical in how it captures the inherent strangeness of every "new world" to the immigrant who arrives there. While American readers of The Arrival won't be able to help but see a transformed New York City on display here, and certainly The United States is the nation most synonomous with the phrase "the new world", the fact of Tan's Australian citizenship and Malaysian ancestry brings a larger frame to the tale and must, at least in part, be responsibe for its ability to breath fresh life into the immigrant tale. Told entirely in a series of fine pencil drawings, most of which are presented in such a manner as to bring to mind faded black & white snap shots. There are, however, quite a few breath-taking full-page and even double-page spreads featuring landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and other vistas that will fill readers of all ages with wonder. The Arrival is a one-of-a-kind work that communicates the immigrant experience like no other. This book was originally published for the 2007 holiday season, and its appropriateness as a gift was amply demonstrated by its instant sellout here -- as well as everywhere else -- before we had the chance to bring it to your attention here. Now that it the new printing as at last arrived on our shores (from the printers in Singapore) we are happy to be able to present it at last. Get a look at what we're talking about HERE.
I Feel Machine is a timely comics intervention into our ever more technologically interfaced and mediated existence. This anthology is edited by Julian Hanshaw, who also has contributed one of the six comics pieces created especially for this 152 page, full color, French-flapped softcover volume. In addition to Hanshaw, the all-star line-up of contributors is: Shaun Tan, Tillie Walden, Box Brown, Krent Able and Erik Svetoft. The works range from fable to fantasy to science fiction to horror, including mash-ups of some or all of these. And yes, these are all new works appearing here for the first time. The Shaun Tan story, it must be said, is an instant classic. It's so good that it seems likely to us that it will not be long before it is issued as a stand alone book, to bring it to the wider audience it surely merits. But you can get it now, along with five other great works, for what will be close to the same price of this hypothetical Tan volume. Nice, right?
A sketch book cum idea file by the author of The Arrival, this is an attractively produced clothbound hardcover printed in full color and black and white. See the creative mind in action, exploring visual concepts and ideas. This guy can draw!